In between errands the kids and I are often out and about in downtown Seattle. I've become a master at finding inexpensive activities that the kids will enjoy, and I thought I'd share them in this post. If you know of one I've missed, please add it in comments.
- If you're stroller free, hop on a bus in the free ride zone (note that while busses are free downtown, this doesn't include light rail)
- Try to make it through the rain wall at Westlake Park (across from Westlake Center) without getting wet
- Dry of with a cup of hot chocolate in the Dilettante Mocha Cafe in Westlake Center
- Take in the view at the Columbia Tower Starbucks on the 40th floor. It's not as glamorous as the observation deck on the 73rd floor ($5 per person) but it's free.
- Check out the Chihuly art glass installation at City Centre Shopping Center (1420 5th Ave # 450) or the Sheraton Seattle Hotel
- Watch the street performers do their thing
- Have a snack as rock climbers reach new heights at the indoor wall in the Medical Dental Building (511 Olive Way between 5th Ave & 6th Ave)
- Cuddle up with a book (or play at the train table) at Barnes and Noble in Pacific Place Shopping Center
- Pick up a free map at the Downtown Seattle information booth outside of Westlake Center, and then plot your path for the day
- Run circles around the saltwater and freshwater fish tanks in the Nordstrom Children's Department
- Hop on the lightrail and explore every station or just get off at the next stop.
- Even though it's not really an activity, I can't resist adding Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, in Westlake Center. This is where you pick up stickers, Japanese erasers, cute notebooks and other items to get you through that 3-course meal you're dragging the kids to tonight.
- Soundbridge, the kids music museum at Benaroya Hall has drop in musical storytelling and music making classes for kids age 2-5 Wednesday through Saturday. Adult admission is $5 and kids under 5 are free. check here for a calendar of events.
- Float leaves in the "stream" at the Benaroya Hall Garden of Remembrance
- Explore the Seattle Central Library and then cuddle up with a book in the children's area
- Enjoy the "flashing cars" and free crafts in the fee areas of the Seattle Art Museum
- Pick up a single piece of chocolate or a fabulously rich chocolaty drink at my favorite chocolate shop in town. Fran's Chocolates. The gray salt caramels are a local favorite.
- Pick up a half-dozen mini donuts for under $3 at the Daily Dozen Donut company (located at the entrance to Pike Place Market
- Sit on the big piggy bank in front of Pike Place Market
- Watch the fish fly by at Pike Place Fish Company
- Buy a balloon from the balloon man at Pike Place Market - you set the price
- Ride the monorail from Westlake Center to Seattle Center and back again ($2.25 for Adults and $1 for kids age 5-12)
- Hear the Seattle Symphony's 26-foot (eight-meter) tall, 4,490-pipe Watjen concert organ in Benaroya Hall at one of the symphony's free recitals, held Mondays at 12:30 p.m. on a bimonthly basis
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